Just As I Thought

Civilization = hyprocrisy?

I don’t understand the right wing. Most of what they go on about doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense to me. Now, to be fair, I’m certain that’s what they think about those of us on the left. Both sides also have trouble with independent thought, especially as you get farther toward the fringes. That’s why I get so tongue-tied and pissed off at editorials and writings that parrot the same old rhetoric, making claims over and over that are easily discredited.
Today, boingboing points out a well-written but rhetoric-filled column by Orson Scott Card. It starts out examining some of the social conventions surrounding marriage, and makes sense — but then it degenerates into a rant against homosexual people that is filled with hypocrisy. If this is what the right claims is “civilization,” I prefer anarchy.
Let’s see what he has to say:

Do you want to know whose constitutional rights are being violated? Everybody’s. Because no constitution in the United States has ever granted the courts the right to make vast, sweeping changes in the law to reform society.

The court is not changing the law. They are enforcing it. The law they are supporting is the Massachusetts constitution, which does not outlaw same-sex marriage. Now, changing that constitution — or the Federal one — would be making a vast change to reform society, wouldn’t it?

In the first place, no law in any state in the United States now or ever has forbidden homosexuals to marry. The law has never asked that a man prove his heterosexuality in order to marry a woman, or a woman hers in order to marry a man.
… However emotionally bonded a pair of homosexual lovers may feel themselves to be, what they are doing is not marriage. Nor does society benefit in any way from treating it as if it were.

Once again, a right-winger is wedded (pun intended) to marriage as a social contract, a religious contract, and a biological contract. Isn’t it strange that you never hear one of these pundits mention the emotional, loving part of marriage? Perhaps it’s not important to them. What a shock!

Men, after all, know what men like far better than women do; women know how women think and feel far better than men do. But a man and a woman come together as strangers and their natural impulses remain at odds throughout their lives, requiring constant compromise, suppression of natural desires, and an unending effort to learn how to get through the intersexual swamp.

Gee, doesn’t that make marriage sound attractive?

Of course, in our current society we are two generations into the systematic destruction of the institution of marriage. In my childhood, it was rare to know someone whose parents were divorced; now, it seems almost as rare to find someone whose parents have never been divorced.

So, marriage has been a failing institution for two generations, and same-sex marriage only arrived last week. Somehow I don’t think that same-sex marriage is to blame here. Yet, I see no right-wingers railing against divorce or adultery — in fact, many of them seem to be experienced practitioners of those “sins.”

Now, there is a myth that homosexuals are “born that way,” and we are pounded with this idea so thoroughly that many people think that somebody, somewhere, must have proved it.

In fact what evidence there is suggests that if there is a genetic component to homosexuality, an entire range of environmental influences are also involved. While there is no scientific research whatsoever that indicates that there is no such thing as a borderline child who could go either way.

… The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.
Let’s ask Mary Cheney, the gay daughter of the ultra-right Dick Cheney and uber-conservative Lynne Cheney just what it was about that environment that made her gay. What disturbing seduction or abuse turned her to the dark side? Speaking as the son of a blue-collar fireman and a white-collar bank clerk, who was never seduced, raped, or molested, I find this argument–as always–specious and patently ridiculous. And if you can get past this silly smokescreen and realize that gay people are born that way, you suddenly realize that discrimination against gay people is as unacceptable as discrimination against those people born with a handicap or with blue eyes. As a gay man, I will be first to admit that my homosexuality is abnormal, in the proper usage of the word. Going by pure mathematics, it’s normal to be heterosexual. But you know what? Left-handed people are abnormal. That doesn’t make it any less natural. And sometimes people train themselves to become left-handed. That may be a choice, but it doesn’t invalidate all those people who were born that way.

I’m so tired of writing about this issue now; and the last 3 years have really exhausted me emotionally and intellectually. I feel like we are in the first stages of a new dark age in this country. Every day I worry incessantly about what’s happening, and wonder how long it will be until I abandon the nation I love and move away. How long can I hold out with the ideal of fighting for the ideals I believe this country stands for before I realize it’s a lost cause? Why do I feel like I am surrounded by people who hate everything about me, despite that the fact that they don’t know me? And why does it seem like the religious people–who are ironically forcing their special agenda on the rest of us–never speak of love, understanding, tolerance, and peace, the lessons that Jesus died trying to teach? I dunno. I’m just so unbelievably tired of trying to understand it.


  • I think I know how you feel. What makes the near-theocracy of the U.S. even worse is that modern Christians, at least many American Christians, take such a pick-and-choose approach to the Bible; granted, it shouldn’t be the basis for making legal judgements in our country anyway, but at least they could be consistent. Yet they are so completely blind to the hypocrisy in their approach; I find myself sometimes wishing there really /were/ a god and an afterlife just so these bigots could get their true comeuppance in the end.

    You should take a look at the BBC’s recent site for their new show “What the World Thinks of God.” In a poll of 10 countries about various god-beliefs and religious philosophies, the U.S. was more like a poor third-world country in the extremity of such beliefs. Just as scary was a Gallup Poll last year that found that 60% of Americans believe that the Genesis creation story, Noah’s ark and a global flood, and Moses’ parting of the Red Sea are “literally true.” Six out of ten Americans!

  • As for Card, don’t you love his sophistic contention that we already have the right to get married, that any gay man has the right to marry a woman and any lesbian the right to marry a man?

    I first came across his insidious rantings against gay people and homosexuality years ago, and haven’t paid to read anything of his since. It’s such a shame that someone who writes such thought-provoking and insightful fiction can become so poisonous when he turns his attention and his pen to the real world.

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